Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida joins suit against for-profit college company

The nation's second-largest for-profit college company is fighting a lawsuit that keeps growing — with the state of Florida now one of the newest parties to join the case.

Education Management Corp., which runs a variety of schools, including the Art Institute, Argosy University, and Brown Mackie College, is being sued by ex-employees for violating the federal government's ban on paying commission to recruiters to enroll students. In recent weeks, the U.S. Justice Department has joined in the suit, followed by attorneys general in California, Illinois and, most recently, Florida. Company officials have denied the suit's allegations.

The for-profit college company boasts nine campuses throughout Florida and enrolls more than 150,000 students nationwide.

Florida entered the fray "as a procedural matter" to protect the state's interests, Jennifer Krell Davis, a spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, said Friday.

The suit, filed in Pennsylvania by two ex-employees at one of the company's Pittsburgh offices, alleges that Education Management urged its recruiters to enroll students before thoroughly reviewing their academic qualifications. Though the company professed to have academic requirements, anyone who simply submitted an application and a 150-word essay was admitted, the suit states.

Recruiters' salary, according to the suit, was based primarily on a numbers-focused system known as "the matrix." The number of new students enrolled is converted to points which then set each recruiter's salary range.

After the Justice Department joined the suit last month, Education Management released a statement denying any misconduct and vowing to mount a vigorous defense in court.

Florida joins suit against for-profit college company 06/03/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 3, 2011 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  2. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say


    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  3. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow


    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]
  4. Yankees executive Jessica Steinbrenner seeks restraining order against ex-husband


    TAMPA — Jessica Steinbrenner, a top executive with the New York Yankees and a daughter of the team's late owner George Steinbrenner, is seeking a restraining order against her ex-husband.

    New York Yankees excutive Jessica Steinbrenner, with her then-husband Felix Lopez Jr. in this 2008 photo, filed for a restraining order against Lopez in Hillsborough County last week. 
[Times files]
  5. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with Cobb on hill, Beckham in lineup


    UPDATE, 3:46: After sitting out Thursday in recovering from extraction of a tooth, former Rays SS Tim Beckham is in the Orioles lineup tonight for his first game against his ex-mates, batting leadoff and playing short.